Recently, Facebook announced they would be accepting usernames for all account holders as a way to direct more of your friends and family members to your Facebook page. Once you set your username, your new Facebook URL will look identical to: www.facebook.com/username.
The new usernames are currently only for Pages and Profiles, not for group or event pages. Also, once you set your new username, you can not go back and change it, so make sure it’s the username you want.
For people who like to squat on usernames for companies in an effort to make money, Facebook is preventing this from happening all together by not permitting any transfers of usernames. Furthermore, Facebook says they have encouraged trademarked rights owners to contact them if they want to reserve or protect particular trademarked names, however this was for people who had pages previously on FB. The pre-registration is now closed, however you can still go through the FB copyright infringement form if you know of someone who has used your trademarked name as their username.
So, how can Facebook’s new usernames help increase your SEO? It’s easy, if anyone searches for your company name in Facebook, your profile page is more likely to come up first in the search results over others who have identical names. Plus, it’s easier to give out a distinct URL like www.facebook.com/username over saying, “search for us in Facebook under “mycompanyname”". You can also include this URL in Twitter or your blog which would give your company name a little more link juice over just saying, ‘check us out on Facebook’.
But more importantly, if you selected your company name as your username, you now have a designated facebook URL like mentioned above. Therefore, if anyone searches in Google, Yahoo, MSN or any other search engine for your company name, it’s likely your Facebook profile will show up in the search results hopefully right under your homepage instead of other competitors.
This is not only a great SEO tactic to use but also a great branding tool for your company name. The greatest thing about having a Facebook page with a username is that is’ free! If you want to set a username for your Facebook page, simply login to your Facebook page or profile, and at the top you should see a message asking if you want to set your username now. Just remember, once you create your new username, Facebook will ask you to confirm, and once you do there is no turning back – so be sure to check the spelling and make sure it’s the username you want!